Junior Navigator

The map was never far away. The road atlas was always within reach.  On the way home, the bag of spicy peanuts, purchased at a convenience store, rested between between us. The driver and the junior navigator.

We left early Saturday morning, and by late Sunday afternoon, we arrived at the Old Order Mennonite community in Delano, Tennessee. The fields were green and lush.  When we asked for directions to the family we were visiting, a teenage boy, riding his colt for the first time, led us there. Our visit was a short one, but the days seemed longer somehow. No electricity, no electronic interruptions to conversations or meals. We sat through an end of the school year celebration. We took a buggy ride. Neighbors brought by a meal to share. After supper the men stayed inside to talk, the women gathered outside. The children playing were outside, too. The boys running about. The girls milling around in twos and threes. Many of them, mothers in waiting, lovingly cradled the available babies.

We left before lunch on Tuesday, ready for hot showers, ready to plug back into our phones and the Internet. Ready to move freely without a prayerful eye watching over us. And most of all, ready to rejoin the world where a woman's voice can be heard.